There seems to be a disconnect between the way some pundits have been downplaying the president’s bounce and the actual increase in his favorability rating. They assumed that the inconsistencies of the post-operation narrative had raised questions of competency that would translate into not much of an increase in job approval. But is not the president, in aggregate polls, now enjoying a job-approval rating 10 percentage points higher than his disapproval rating? And is not that a swing of some 12–14 points since the polls taken just ten days ago? Amid all the talk of the end of national-security successes fueling presidential bounces, it seems to me, unless I am missing something, that Obama is enjoying a huge upsurge in popularity.
It may be transitory, it may soon be overshadowed by terrible news on the economy, but right now the end of bin Laden is boosting Obama’s popularity in dramatic fashion, as the relief millions feel translates into appreciation for the executive order to take Osama out. Had the president shared credit for the anti-terrorism protocols with his predecessor, curbed his “I did it” speeches, and presented a post-operation narrative that was candid, consistent, and logical, I think the considerable upsurge would have been even greater.